Tombstone …. a brief history

20 Apr

Lindsey Stirling – Transcendence

Tomestone: a brief history

Tombstone Heritage

Wikipedia: Tombstone is a historic western city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, founded in 1879 by Ed Schieffelin in what was then Pima County, Arizona Territory. It was one of the last wide-open frontier boomtowns in the American Old West. The town prospered from about 1877 to 1890, during which time the town’s mines produced US$40 to $85 million in silver bullion, the largest productive silver district in Arizona. Its population grew from 100 to around 14,000 in less than seven years. It is best known as the site of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and draws most of its revenue from tourism.

The town was established on a mesa above the Tough Nut Mine. Within two years of its founding, although far distant from any other metropolitan city, Tombstone boasted a bowling alley, four churches, an ice house, a school, two banks, three newspapers, and an ice cream parlor, alongside 110 saloons, 14 gambling halls, and numerous dancing halls and brothels. All of these were situated among and on top of a large number of dirty, hardscrabble mines. The gentlemen and ladies of Tombstone attended operas presented by visiting acting troupes at the Schieffelin Hall opera house, while the miners and cowboys saw shows at the Bird Cage Theatre, “the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast”.

Under the surface were tensions that grew into deadly conflict. The mining capitalists and townspeople were largely Republicans from the Northern states. Many of the ranchers in the area were Confederate sympathizers and Democrats. The booming city was only 30 miles (48 km) from the U.S.–Mexico border and was an open market for beef stolen from ranches in Sonora, Mexico, by a loosely organized band of outlaws known as The Cowboys. The Earp brothers—Virgil, Wyatt, Morgan and Warren—arrived in December 1879 and summer 1880. They had ongoing conflicts with Ike and Billy Clanton, Frank and Tom McLaury, and other Cowboys members. The Cowboys repeatedly threatened the Earps over many months until the conflict escalated into a confrontation that turned into a shootout, the now-famous Hollywood-ized Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The actual gun fight was on Fremont Street a block or 2 away from the O.K. Corral.


Tombstone badge 2

Colt 45 2

Tombstone badge 2

6 Responses to “Tombstone …. a brief history”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong April 20, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

    Usually, I prefer real history. In this rare and wonderful exception, I love the movie version. I just do.


    • jcalberta April 20, 2015 at 10:13 pm #

      I am interested in the History. I’d like to know the truth – if I can get it. There are so many conflicting accounts or just guesswork or opinion. Here’s where I really wish I had a time machine. Back to the Future !
      But if the movie well done I can still enjoy it.


  2. Rick April 20, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

    The Birdcage is my favorite place in town.


    • jcalberta April 20, 2015 at 9:55 pm #

      I’ve got a big blog on the BIrdcage coming right up. I have to say that it had most authentic artifacts in Tombstone.


  3. JP May 1, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    Enjoyed your tour of Tombstone. It was like being back there again.


    • jcalberta May 1, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

      Glad your liking it – it was a lot of fun doing this profile and having some experience down here. Hope to come back again some day.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: